Greetings from the Chair

Hello to the many members and friends of the Canadian Chapter of the Clan Gregor Society. Once again it gives me pleasure to reach out to our wide spread membership. Gregors over the centuries are known to have been a strong willed, disparate lot. Today we descendants are separated by distance and yet we remain united in heritage. Our Chapter now has members from coast to coast in Canada as well as a few American cousins from border States. We are Clan.

First, thank you for being a member of the Clan Gregor Society this past year. In doing so you are a vital part of one of the oldest and most dedicated Clan Societies. Sharing the proud history and heritage of MacGregor is the primary purpose of the Society and active Members are essential to its success. Your involvement is important.

Once upon a time all Gregors in name or association would band together and formally pledge fealty to our Chief. This bond of loyalty went beyond mere support and grew to include unwritten commitments to take up arms in defense of Clan lands, honour and the Chief. This loyally got us into (and sometime out of) many scrapes!

Today we ask only for an annual payment of dues to help with the communication and education efforts of the Society.

We, the north, have accomplished a great deal over the past year. Many of these achievements are outlined in more detail elsewhere in this issue.

In January we again presented the Chapter’s Scholarship award to young student Domenic Kilpatrick at the Rob Roy Pipe Band’s Burns dinner.

February saw the first Maple Leaf MacGregor produced by our capable co-editors and Members of Council Bill Petrie and Sylvie Theriault.

Further showcasing their considerable talents in tech production and marketing, Bill and Sylvie later launched our first web presence in April and May. Be sure to go to https://www.mapleleafmacgregor.ca to view our newsletter online and get information about the Clan and other items of interest.
In June we broke new ground in the Clan Gregor Society by entering into a sister Chapter agreement with the Great Lakes Chapter based in Ohio. This meaningful venture promises to generate best practices and support through shared ideas and communication.

Throughout the summer we attended 5 Highland Games. In addition to our customary Glengarry and Fergus outings, we attended the Ohio Scottish Games, the Montreal Celtic Games and the Lanark County Highland Games. Supporting materials and marketing items for our Clan tent were upgraded with several new posters and banners and more are scheduled to be added for next season.

In August we were thrilled to welcome Callum McGregor Gauthier as our Honorary Chapter Piper. We are fortunate to have this talented young man represent us and play for us at Games where we are both in attendance. The traditions of piping and Clan Gregor are old, historic and well established, and it is fitting that we now have a Chapter Piper.

Throughout the year we have been involved in supporting and participating in the work of CASSOC, (Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada) in an effort to become more connected to the large Scottish diasporas community here in Canada.

Behind the scenes we have been working on our site and automation of the sign up and payment process. We hope to have the option to sign up and pay membership fees online soon.

Overall, it’s been a very busy and successful year. Your Council has worked hard and special thanks to go Bill and Sylvie for bringing their willing support and helping hands to further the work of the Chapter.

Thanks also to our other Council Member June MacGregor Jain and to Al McGregor for their support and work on the Scholarship Award committee. It is a bonny team we have and I could not properly support the work of the Society without their help. Thank you all!

Perhaps the best way to gauge our efforts can be found in our growing list of new members. This year it gives me great pleasure to welcome the following to the Clan Gregor Society and to its Canada Chapter:

Alexandra Ney
Ashely MacNie
Bradley Park
Callum McGregor Gauthier
Christopher McGuire
David B Watters
Hillary Caird
James Edward Lucente
Kim MacGregor Hamel
Leslie Morris
Marty McGregor
Nicholas Roy Gregor
Penny McGregor
Peter McGregor
Samantha Fortune
Sharon Connell
Sheila McGregor
Stephen Eccles
Susan Smedley
Teresa Fordham

Along with adding new members is the sadness of saying goodbye to those who have passed away. This past year Alexander ”Sandy” MacNie, James Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles and Annie McGregor Stadden were called home. Proud Gregors all please join me in sending their families and survivors our condolences and gratitude for knowing them and having them as members in our Society. I will especially miss former Councillor Annie. She was an energetic and enthusiastic supporter of all things MacGregor and will be missed.

I’ll close by welcoming you to the New Year and a new decade. Take time to celebrate and be grateful for all we hold dear. Thank you for your support and interest. It is my pleasure to serve you in your search for your Gregor history and heritage. Along the way we’ll have some fun and raise our glasses in a toast to fellowship.

Yours aye,
Wayne

From the Editors

It’s been a busy time since last spring. The website’s been launched; we attended festivals in Fergus , Maxville, Montreal, North Lanark and Uxbridge (just a visit); travelled through Europe;  plus performed in a couple of choir concerts.   Some pictures from the festivals are later in the newsletter.
Since Bill doesn’t know the term ‘idle’ he also released a single and album plus assumed the responsibilities of both Chair and Newspaper editor for CASSOC (Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada) last fall.
Through the experiences with the latter, we’re seeing the need for more regular and persistent engagement with members. It would be great to let people know of happenings especially for festivals where you’d be able to visit your Clan’s booth.
This means looking at social media options such as FaceBook.  But it’s not without trepidation given the aspects of social media abuse.   Slow steps and safeguards will be undertaken.
Please check page 4 for the 2022 Gathering and considering attending. We will be there for sure. As Bill wrote in his Chair message for CASSOC, we are not only our own stories but also the stories we share to weave us together as a community.   Let’s be in this story together.
This brings us to let you know that we’d like to get your contributions for future editions.  Be they about festivals or events, pictures, recipes and certainly your stories of your MacGregor journey.  Please send these to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yours Aye

William and Sylvie

2022 CGS International Gathering

As many of you will recall from our 2018 Gathering, booking, reservations and deposits must be completed well in advance. While 2022 may seem far off at this time, planning-wise it is not. To help you plan your visit to Scotland, the Society is offering options to suit your taste and budget.

A CELEBRATION OF 200 YEARS OF THE CLAN GREGOR SOCIETY 1822-2022

Based in the Highlands 17-24 July, 2022, at the Loch Tummel Hotel in Rannoch, Perthshire. It's near the Queen's View - Queen Victoria loved this view so much that it was named after her. Pitlochry, famous for its wool products, is also nearby.

We will visit Blair Castle, the only castle in Britain whose owner, the Duke of Atholl, has a private army; Inverness for shopping, Culloden battlefield and museum, scene of the last Jacobite Rising in 1746 and, of course, Loch Ness.

We will also attend the Lochearnhead Highland Games and look forward to beating the MacLarens in the Tug of War competition. The highlight of this tour will be our magnificent Banquet, in the presence of our Chief Sir Malcolm and Lady MacGregor, to celebrate the fact that the Clan Gregor Society will be 200 years old in 2022.

We anticipate the indicative price for this tour, excluding airfare, will be in the region of £900 to £990 per person for members. All rooms are double/twins or family rooms, so in the event of over-subscription we may give preference to those prepared to share a room.

Now it's your turn!     To reserve your place at the Clan Gregor Society celebration we need to put down deposits. If you are seriously interested in attending the 2022 International Gathering, the Society must request a small initial 'statement of interest' non-refundable deposit of 50 GBP/$60 US/Can/Aus per person by January 31st 2020.

This amount will be redeemable against the full deposit of 25% by November 30th 2020 with the final balance to be paid by November 30th 2021. This tour is only on offer to Members. Non­ members will be required to join the Society (£68 for 5 years) and will not have priority in booking.

Please pay deposit via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and give your name and contact details to Ross MacGregor (our Secretary) on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or phone +441989567565, or write to the Society address on the ClanGregor.com website, by January 31st, 2020

 

Special Tour - Edinburgh and the Scott Country

 SPECIAL TOUR:  Edinburgh & the Scott Country 15-23 August 2022

 NUMBERS FOR THIS TOUR WILL BE STRICTLY LIMITED AND WILL BE ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS

In 1822, Sir Walter Scott and Sir John MacGregor Murray organized the visit to Edinburgh of King George IV, the first King to visit Scotland since Charles I was crowned at Scone in 1649. We MacGregors played an important part in this visit and it is quite likely that there will be a celebration of this anniversary in Edinburgh in 2022.
Scott was encouraged by the great success of Rob Roy, which financed the building of Abbotsford, (which we will visit), complete with his writing desk and rooms full of weaponry. We will also visit Traquair House which had strong links to Mary Queen of Scots, and Mellerstain House which is described as one of the best stately homes in Britain. We will visit Rosslyn Chapel (yes, the one in The DaVinci Code) and The Kelpies (huge sculptures representing mythical Scottish water creatures).
The world-famous Tattoo will be on in Edinburgh (optional). 2022 has been labelled the Year of Scotland's Stories and we expect that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will feature that theme. And don't forget our outpost, The Royal Macgregor!
We hope to offer a two-tiered accommodation package depending on your responses. Approximate figures based on two people sharing a room: Tier 1 - Double room Bed and Breakfast (no dinner) at the University of Edinburgh Salisbury Green Hotel and Bistro for £250/night/room (8 nights=£2000. With the tours and the Tattoo, the cost is approximately
£1500-£1800 per person+ dinners.
Tier 2 - We are also looking at alternative accommodation in the Scottish Borders (Scott country) but slightly higher pricing of £1700-£2000 per person. We would hire a coach from here for Edinburgh and the tours.
*Note: a more expensive, but convenient option is the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh for £400/night including dinner for two sharing and with tours would be £2250-£2500 person. Single occupancy hotel accommodation would add about £125 per night.
Edinburgh in August is expensive and crowded. Food and accommodation will cost more than on the Highlands tour and Taxis are an extra expense. Tattoo tickets (booked in advance) are £30-£100. No deposit for this tour is required at this time; only please an indication of interest NOW. Deposit information and details available in mid 2020. This tour is currently open to members and their families only.
For this tour please email Keith MacGregor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to Keith at P.O. Box 56, Redding Ridge, CT 06876, USA

 

 

Rob Roy - Book Review

News Flash - The Pudrac

Ed Note: For those of you who are Outlander fans here's one for your interest.  Our Vice Chair Peter Lawrie met with Sam Heughan and a film crew recently at Balquhidder to show him Rob Roy's grave, which turned into a bit more.  Here Peter tells his story.

Yesterday (Sunday 22nd September) I met with Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish at Balquhidder. They had a film crew of 14 with them. I was asked to meet with them at the Pudrac stone (See article by Peter Martin on the Puterach lifting stone in CGS Newsletter 80 - Summer 2014) I explained the standing stone was Neolithic, at least 4000 years old and aligned between Ben Vorlich and the sacred site now occupied by Balquhidder kirk.

The Pudrac or Puidreag probably took its name from the ancient people of the glen, - hence Balquhidder in Gaelic is phuidir, the place or dwelling of the Puidir. Thus people of Balquhidder were known as Pudrach (such as Gregor Roy's brother Alasdair Pudrach.

In more modern times it was used for feats of strength by the young men of the district lifting the stone on the flat top of the monolith until a minister had it removed. A replacement weighing around 100Kg was taken from the river in 2011 and has since been lifted by a number of strongmen from around the world. Sam, himself, succeeded in lifting it. See photo on next page.

Subsequently we met up at Rob Roy's grave. With Donald MacLaren on one side of Sam and me on the other we were invited to present our different views on whether or not Rob Roy is actually buried there.

I explained that Coll and Ranald were tacksmen of the kirkton of Balquhidder. Ranald lived at the inn close to the church until his death in 1786. His mother and two brothers were also in the grave. There is no commemoration of Rob Roy at Glengyle. Dorothy Wordsworth admitted in Note 14 of her 1803 book that her "well educated informant at Glengyle" (That is an incoming capitalist sheep farmer after all the MacGregors had been cleared) was wrong and Rob Roy was actually buried at Balquhidder. Also that Sir Walter Scott reported in the introduction to his novel "Rob Roy" in 1817 that Rob Roy was buried at the Balquhidder kirk.

Then they switched to Donald's evidence which was "It was a MacLaren kirk and the MacLarens of the day would not have allowed a MacGregor such an important position on the site of the original (pre-reformation) church"

That was it! No evidence, just an assertion.

We also discussed the infamous MacGregor raid on the MacLarens in 1558. I suggested they were encouraged either by Lord Drummond who purchased the Barony from John Ross of Craigy in 1558, or possibly by Grey Colin of Glenorchy - especially as the surviving MacLarens went to him and gave him their calp or allegiance in exchange for protection. A trick he played on many other kindreds.

We then adjourned up the glen to Monachyle Mhor where soup and sandwiches were on offer. I made a pitch to Sam's producer and business partner Alex Norouzi, of a film about Gregor Roy from 1562, when Grey Colin refused to enfeoff him in Glenstrae to his execution at Kenmore in 1570. Featuring his marriage to Marion Campbell and her song Griogal cridhe lamenting his death and also featuring the evil and manipulative Grey Colin Campbell and a brief appearance by Mary Queen of Scots is a compelling story. He loved it, so I've emailed him some links to information to think about.

It was bucketing down on my way there and on my way home, but fortunately the rain, more or less, stayed off while we were filming.  Sam and Graham reckoned it was very atmospheric.

Peter Lawrie

 

Farewell to Ann (McGregor) Stadden

Annie, as she preferred to be called, passed away September 22nd, 2019.She was born in Kent County Nursing home January 4th, 1946, and was raised in Woodstock, Ontario. In 1966 she married James William Stadden, had one daughter, Pam, (former Maple Leaf MacGregor Editor) and worked in a Real Estate career until she retired in 2006. Annie and Jim moved to Rodney, Ontario (MacGregor country) where she was a member of the Elgin County Historical Society and in the last few years returned to live in the Woodstock area.
Annie was active as a Genealogist and historian and had gathered information and photos of her own McGregor lineage since she was young.


She collected any and all books on Clan Gregor and her real passion was helping others to trace their Gregor lines. She was particularly interested in the Glengyle lines of Rob Roy and his cousin Malcolm of Marchfield. Her interest and research brought her to Scotland twice to attend Society international Gatherings. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking, reading, swimming and travelling. 

Annie served on the Board of Directors for the Woodstock and Ingersoll Real Estate Board and was a member of Zonta and the Women’s Business Group in Woodstock. She organized and conducted a bus tour in the Sandwich/Windsor area of Ontario, for the “Gathering” of the American Clan Gregor Society in 2011.
Annie has been a member of the Clan Gregor Society for many years. When she learned of the forming of a Canadian Chapter she enthusiastically attended our constitutional meeting of the newly formed Chapter Council. Annie extended her love of helping Gregor’s with their past by generously offering to assist any member with their genealogy at no cost; a service a number of folks gratefully benefited from!

Mercifully Annie is now able to rest from her battle with pancreatic cancer. Annie had a supportive family, an abiding faith and took her challenges in stride. She was a lovely lady and a founding member of the Canadian Chapter. She will be missed but always remembered with affection.

WM Parker

 

The Story of Rob Roy MacGregor

Rob Roy MacGregor was born in 1671, the second son of Donald Glas MacGregor of Glengyle and Margaret Campbell of the Glenfalloch Campbells. The family lived at the Steadings near Portnellan, at the north end of Loch Katrine, where Rob grew up, married, and learned the cattle trade.  His life can be divided into three parts – the years at Loch Katrine, his “outlaw period”, romanticized bySir Walter Scott in his novel Rob Roy, and the last third of his life at Inverlochlarig in Balquhidder glen where he was buried in 1734.

Along with many Highland clansmen, at the age of eighteen and together with his father, Rob joined the Jacobite rising of 1689 led by John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee, known as “Bonnie Dundee”, in support for the Stuart King James II who had fled Britain following the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The Rising is marked by the famous battle at Killiecrankie, a stunning Jacobite victory which sadly saw Dundee killed in the initial charge.  Leaderless, and facing a daunting winter, the rebellion ended in a bloody street fight at Dunkeld where both sides suffered greatly, although James’ cause was lost in Scotland. As retribution, Donald Glas and Rob’s older brother John were thrown in the tolbooth, Edinburgh’s notorious prison, where they were held on treason charges for two years. John would die in 1692 largely as a result of his treatment in the tolbooth. Donald Glas too never regains his health and is buried by Rob at Portnellan in 1702.

This left Rob in charge at home, where he married Mary MacGregor of Comar.  Their first son, James Mhor (“Big James”) was born in 1695.  They had three more sons, at least one daughter, adopted Duncan, a cousin, and took on responsibility for John’s family as well.

Rob Roy became a respected cattleman – a demanding trade which required a loyalty where a man’s word was his bond. It was also a time when cattle rustling and protection against theft were commonplace means of earning a living. He moved to Inversnaid village near Loch Lomond and is known to have run herds down to the famous marketplace at Crieff, even taking cows down into England on occasion.

All was looking up until 1712, when Rob Roy, having borrowed a large sum from a number of creditors, among them the Duke of Montrose, fell on hard times. Owing to the disappearance of his chief drover, who was entrusted with a large sum to bring cattle back from the Isles, Rob Roy was blamed despite his best efforts to find the drover – who was never seen again in Scotland.

Solely on his word, as was the accepted custom in those times, Rob was able to come to terms with all twenty-six of his creditors - all except one – James Graham, 4th Duke of Montrose who desperately (and foolishly) attempted to use the event to push Rob and the Glengyle MacGregors out of his lands.  Invoking his rank and privilege on the Privy Council, Graham had Rob Roy declared an outlaw.  His wife and family were forcefully evicted from their house at Inversnaid, which was then burned. His possessions and cattle were seized. The result was that Rob Roy declared a private war against the Duke, which began the stories of his famous exploits as  an outlaw and a folk hero – the so-called “Robin Hood” era – which has some truth to it!

The private war with Montrose went on for nearly ten years.  During this time Rob found support from his mother’s family, notable John Campbell, Duke of Argyll.  No friend of Grahams’, the Campbells could offer Rob shelter in their lands, where no long arm of Graham’s (who was using British redcoats to pursue the outlaw by this time) could reach him. By 1722, Rob Roy has become a master at playing one duke against another, and Graham’s power at court begins to wane. But even greater changes were about to happen.

Rob Roy in Popular Culture

The year 1723 saw the publication of a fictionalized account of his life, The Highland Rogue by none other than Daniel Defoe of Robinson Crusoe fame. Rob Roy became something of a legend in his own lifetime, and upon reading the book, King George I was moved to suspend the order for Rob to be transported to the colonies, which was imminent. This was not simply by the wave of a magic wand but the result of political engineering at court by John Campbell, the Duke of Argyll whose star was rising. By making his submission to the Crown, aided by Argyll, Rob Roy was granted a commission for the Highland Watch, a company of men to guarantee the return of stolen cattle to their owners in the highlands.  It is said that the pattern for the Black Watch, formed in 1742, was based in part on Rob’s success. Thus marks the third remarkable phase of Rob Roy MacGregor’s life. But the story doesn’t end here.

In 1734, a quarrel arises in Balquhidder glen between the MacLarens and the MacGregors over land ownership. Both sides make ready for a fight, said to take place in a field just below the churchyard. Rob steps forward and offers a challenge of single combat to avoid bloodshed.  The MacLarens put up Alasdair Stewart of Invernayle, said to be the best swordsman in Scotland at the time.  Rob is 63 years old.

The duel ensues until Rob receives a cut across his arm.  Stewart gallantly declares the honor of both sides is served, having no desire to harm a man with 24 personal duels to his credit, and the clans disband.  He later adds that he would not have wanted a duel with Rob when he was a younger man. Rob Roy returns to his house at Inverlochlarig Beg, and dies peacefully in his own bed six months later - Dec 1734.  There’s a popular story that he first calls for a priest, but then sends him away, and calls for his piper instead, asking him to play Ha til me tulidh – “we return no more”.  Rob is dead before the song ends.

The publication of Rob Roy, by Sir Walter Scott in 1817, further added to his fame, both fleshing out the biography and adding to the myth.  It became a massive best seller across Europe, and is touted by tour guides at Scott’s home as “the book that built Abbotsford” Hector Berlioz was inspired by the book to compose an overture. William Wordsworth wrote a poem called "Rob Roy's Grave" during a visit to Scotland. The 1803 tour was documented by his sister Dorothy in Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland. The editor of the book changed the place of burial to the present location.

Adaptations of his story have also been told in film, including the silent film Rob Roy(1922), the Walt Disney Productions film Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue(1953), and the Rob Roy(1995) film directed by Michael Caton-Jones, starring actor Liam Neeson as the title character, and shot entirely on location in the Scottish Highlands.

In 1894, a bartender at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City created the Rob Roy cocktail in honor of the premiere of Rob Roy, an operetta by composer Reginald De Koven and lyricist Harry B. Smith loosely based upon Robert Roy MacGregor.

In 2017, a new statue of Rob Roy was commissioned to be installed in Peterculter, Aberdeen, Scotland. The sculptor appointed was David J. Mitchell, a graduate of Grays School of Art in Aberdeen.

*Note – For more in-depth information about Rob Roy and his times, don’t miss the Clan Gregor Society newsletter #88 which comes with your membership in the Society.

*Special thanks to Joe Greer for his help.

Keith MacGregor

NA Representative

 

 

Important Reminder & Burns Grace

Membership renewals for 2020 are now due and I would appreciate your prompt payment. Please send your $39.00 cheque to CGSCC, PO Box 232, Dorset, ON P0A 1E0. Keep in mind that you can renew for five years for the price of four ($156.00).    Alternately you can pay by e-transfer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .Your prompt attention to this will be much appreciated.

If I don’t receive your subscription by the end of May I will send you an email reminder. I’m a volunteer with a day job and it’s always nice to have prompt renewals without repeated appeals. Many thanks.        

Wayne MacGregor Parker

 

 

CGSCC Honorary Piper

My name is Callum McGregor Gauthier and I play the Great Highland Bagpipes. I am nearly 18 years old. My interest in piping is inspired by being born in the Scottish Clan Gregor. My mother, Dr. Penny McGregor, was born in Saskatchewan to Raymond “Red” McGregor, a descendant of Scottish immigrants to Ontario.

I began learning to play the pipes at the age of 10, with the Smiths Falls Gordon Pipe Band. My lessons began in September and I started playing in parades with the band the following summer. In early 2013, I began taking solo competition lessons from Ross Brown in Kingston and these continue to this date.

During the summer Highland Games season of 2013 I began competing in solo competition in Grade 5, the introductory level. A certified professional piper judges solo piping competitions, ranking the competitors as well as providing constructive criticism. The Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) records the results and determines whether pipers are ready to move up the grades.

Last summer, 2018, was an eventful competitive season for me. In August, I had the privilege of competing in youth competitions at the Perth Highland Games, in Scotland, and due to my successes in Ontario competition, I was Eastern Ontario Champion Supreme (awarded by the PPBSO’s Ottawa Branch) in both Grade 2 Light Music (competition with tunes such as Marches, Jigs, Strathspeys, and Reels) and Intermediate Amateur Piobaireachd (ancient, long piping tunes). These successes also gained me an automatic promotion to Grade 1 and Senior Amateur Piobaireachd: the levels below Professional. I competed in these levels this year.

I have performed in band competition with the highly competitive Arnprior-McNab Pipes and Drums, and Rob Roy Pipe Band (from Kingston), both at the Grade 3 level. Though I did not play with a band this summer, I am hoping to play with the Grade 2 Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band next year.

I have been playing various paid gigs for the general public since 2015. This summer I was asked to serve as the Honorary Piper for the Clan Gregor Society Canada Chapter. I am honored to accept this post and to represent my Clan and Society as best I can at various Highland Games and events here in Ontario Canada.

Callum McGregor Gauthier

August 2019

The Clan Gregor Society DNA Project

New members often ask about the Clan Gregor DNA project, found along with many other clan surname projects on Family Tree DNA. There are many questions, some are unique to the inquirer and some of which are fairly universal. Here are a few of the most frequently asked.

Where do I find the MacGregor results?

The main MacGregor results are at www.familytreedna.com/public/macgregor. You will find that there are many separate sub-groups (Gregory, Greer, Orr, Viking, etc.) which come partly from the multiple origins of most clans, and partly from the extensive list of aliases (see back of CGS newsletter) which we have as a result of our “colorful” past under Proscription. Not everyone in a clan has the same genetic origins, often with as many “incomers” (those who join the clan for protection, territory, or because they are conquered) as there are founders descending from a single individual.  In the case of the MacGregors, the current project with over 1600 members reflects roughly 53% of the MacGregor group (Red) as descended from one ancestor.

In general, what markers are typically found in the Gregor Clan and is there a particular ancestor that most Clan Gregor members descend from?

At first glance, the Family Tree DNA project has so much information that it’s a bit confusing. The markers tested, called STR’s or single tandem repeats, are in general forensic and identify us as closely related. One of the most significant markers for the Argyllshire MacGregor DNA signature has been DYS385a& b, both at 10, whereas the most common for the whole group of R1b folk (that is, northern 'Celtic' Europeans, and in particular the Dalriadic clans on Scotland’s west side) is 10-11 or 11-11. The 10-10 markers are quite unique even among nearby clans – Buchanan, Campbell, Stewart, McIntyre and McLaren and may support the proverb that “none is older than the hills, the rivers, and the Clan Alpine” (see more on this name connection to Gregor).

We were fortunate that our Chief took part in DNA testing and we discovered that once we had a significant number of participants who had similar DNA signatures we were able to predict what the DNA signature for the common ancestor 600 years ago actually was. Because MacGregors had to use aliases for the best part of 200 years we thought this gave us a good indication of who were all descended from the person we believe was the progenitor of the clan - Ian Cam(“the one-eyed”), son of Gregor “of the Golden Bridles” of Dalmally glen, Glenorchy in Argyll.  We postulate the origins of the MacGregors for this core Argyllshire MacGregor group as going well back into the Bronze Age, and possibly of Pictish roots (see later).

With the advent of more detailed SNP testing recently, we have discovered that the SNP S690 (SNP = Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) a mutation which occurs in time and is passed down from that point on – a sort of marker in time.  S690 is a better indicator of being a MacGregor, and so is worth testing if it doesn’t come up in your first results.

How does the Clan use DNA information?

We have been doing DNA testing since 2001 and it has proved very attractive to people abroad in particular as it can bridge the gap to Scotland which they cannot do otherwise through lack of genealogical evidence, which even at best runs out at about the 15th century. We share and compare our results with other projects, and by marking your results as “public”, they can be seen by other researchers and genetic genealogists. It is becoming common now in medical research, although the decision to make those results public is up to the tester. It is estimated that genetic genealogy has spurred worldwide interest in DNA tenfold in the past few years and it is still growing. There are various DNA tests can tell us different things about ourselves.

Want to know more?

If interested, go to http://www.clangregor.com/the-dna-project/ to post your questions and for guidance on your research. Family Tree can be reached at 713 868-1438 to order your tests (we recommend the Y-67 or Y-111 tests for starters (Males only for the Surname Projects. Sadly, female DNA -mtDNA- is more complex and is only now being organized properly). However the Family Finder test may also be useful if you are seeking genetic cousins at 2,3,4,5, even 6 generations – and from both parents! Be sure to ask about their sales for better prices.

Thanks to Richard McGregor and Keith MacGregor for help with this information.

WM Parker

Announcing Sister Chapters

The Clan Gregor Society Canada Chapter and the Great Lakes Chapter (based in Ohio) are pleased to announce that we have entered into a Sister Chapter relationship. In this informal arrangement we have agreed to share our Newsletters, ideas, best practices, successes and failures in a joint effort to promote and further the aims and objectives of the Society in our respective territories. Two areas of particular focus will be finding and securing new members and the ongoing development and mentoring of future leaders to ensure we have a pool of talented members coming through the ranks.

Last summer Clan Gregor Canada was pleased to participate in this helping hand across the Border exercise. Working together was a meaningful experience that illustrated what the common bond of clan can accomplish when resources and talents are extended and shared. It began in early January when Society Council member and North American Rep Keith MacGregor alerted me that the Great Lakes Chapter was foundering and in search of new leadership and rejuvenated membership. As past Chair of the Great Lakes Chapter from 1995-2003 my perspective was sought by Council. Some names and faces were still familiar and so we reached out. Chair Marcia Ebert was looking to retire and needed help.

With a list of names to contact we began a search for a new Chair and Editor. After a number of contacts we were most fortunate to have Joseph Greer agree to serve as Chair,   Patrick MacGregor as Editor and Marcia Ebert as Treasurer. Canada Chapter Council member Bill Petrie and I agreed to travel to Loraine Ohio to attend the Ohio Scottish Games in late June. Working together at the Games provided a great opportunity to meet with the new leadership, mentor the process of prospect and membership development, as well as re-connect with familiar faces from years gone by. It was a successful day and concluded with a fun group dinner where Marcia was recognized for her past service. In addition it was particularly special to have long serving Great Lakes President David McGregor and his wife Kathi in attendance at the Games and at dinner.                 

(Ed Note: David McGregor peacefully passed away this Monday, January 6, 2020)

There have been many useful exchanges. A particular highlight was having Chairman Joseph Greer travel north to spend a very busy day at the Canada Chapter tent at the Fergus Games here in Ontario in August. Joe came to study how we engage prospects and draw them into discussions on our Clan’s history with a goal of piquing interest in membership in the Society. As it turns out we were swamped that day and grateful for Joe’s help as we booked 10 new members and sold $230.00 of T-shirts!

Canada and United States are proud to share a long and open Border across the vast continent of North America. In many ways we share similar cultural roots with the largest number of immigrants coming from Scotland, Ireland and England. Our countries were shaped by the common values of brave souls who struck out for the new world to build a life based on freedom and self-determination. Today our two Chapters are composed of this diaspora. We share this heritage, we share a common border and now we share this common bond.

There is a stone cairn erected on the Canada/US Border at Fort Erie that simply states, “Dedicated to the longest unguarded border in the history of man. Let this be a lesson in peace to all mankind that brothers can dwell together in unity.”

Something to be proud of. Welcome brothers and sister of the Great Lakes Chapter.

Wayne MacGregor Parker

Where Do My Membership Fees Go?

Ed note: We are often asked how the money collected for dues is used. Here are excerpts of a response written by Professor Richard McGregor, Chairman of Council, in answer to this.

I can explain the subscriptions very straightforwardly. We set the subscription every year. Normally this does not change in sterling value unless notified at the AGM. However because the exchange rates go up and down, every year we try to reflect that in what we declare as the overseas rate for the year. So if our subscription is 17 pounds it remains at that (which by the way is standard for family history societies here in Britain) until changed by Council if needed.

 You ask what you get for this amount and what the benefits are:

First it is two Newsletters and occasionally three especially near a big International Gathering. The Newsletter is the primary means of communication between members of the Society. We encourage contributions and any type of material is welcome. The Newsletter also acts as a means of disseminating historical and genealogical information. The cost of printing and postage out to various parts of the world would normally take up at least a quarter of the annual income.

The subscription pays towards any website costs and we are working on having a ‘members only’ access which will allow members to request material for download and will have material available that is not for the general public. It contributes towards running Gatherings which we do every year and they are open to all members - usually they take place over a weekend but International Gatherings take a lot of planning which has to take place in advance. Planning for 2022 was  begun 4 years in advance.

Subscriptions are used to effect down-payments on accommodation, buses and reservations. It is also used for deposits on hotels of which there are very few that can accommodate 150 people for meeting and social events. The money used is regenerated by payments from attendees but income from subscriptions always has to be available as a ‘cushion’ in case people withdraw as a result of some crisis.

The subscription contributes to the historical, genealogical and cultural work that is done for the benefit of members - our objects state that the Society exists to help preserve the past, promote the culture of the clan, support individuals of the clan in need, and preserve and make available the history of the clan. Individuals can contact myself or Peter Lawrie on aspects of genealogy, DNA, history and so on and all contacts are free. Often this will involve me, for example, doing research on the member’s behalf, research which may take several hours.

Subscriptions contribute to educational grants to individuals who apply, donations to institutions or causes which have a direct connection with Clan Gregor or the history of Scotland, to the preservation and sometimes acquisition of articles of value for clan history and for their display in a public place (which means also insurance etc.).

Subscriptions provide the Secretary with the costs of the paper, printer cartridges etc. needed, and towards the use of a Council member’s house for Council meetings. No member of Council claims any travel expenses or telephone expenses for attending Council meetings. These are all paid by Council members him or herself. Travel claims are only paid for occasions when a Council member or anyone else makes a journey on clan business.

What subscriptions do not cover:

Membership dues do not cover all the things that we do - and the Newsletter contains reports from AGM, Council meetings etc. to show what these things are. The fact is that the total amount of money annually from dues simply does not cover everything. Major projects such as preserving the Dalmally gravestones do not use subscription funds except for travel expenses in some cases. Rather, projects are paid for by donations and/or requests such as the archaeological projects in Dalmally which have MacGregor associations.

Conclusion:

The annual Treasurer’s report is printed in the Newsletter ‐ and I should at this point just say that everything we do has to conform to the rules of the Charity Commission including annual reporting to members. The Society’s accounts are audited annually and all expenditure has to be recorded. Therefore I suggest that the first place for members to begin considering what they get for their money should be that report.

The importance that members attach to what we do depends entirely on how they view their personal Scottish heritage, how they view the importance of supporting an organization which seeks to preserve the heritage in Scotland in the first instance, and how important they believe matters like genealogical material publication, preservation of artefacts, contribution to historical associations, and educational support is to the work of the Society.

Members should be aware of the Objects of the Society as published in the Constitution and decide whether they believe that they support these. These Objects are the basis on which we operate.

Richard McGregor, Chairman of Council

 

CGSCC 2019 Scholarship Award

Dominic Kilpatrick Awarded Clan Gregor Society Canada Chapter Scholarship - 2019

To The Clan Gregor Society

I am deeply grateful for receiving the Clan Gregor Society Canada Scholarship Award last January. This has been of great assistance to me in improving my piping.  I’ve put the award towards private lessons and already I feel more confident in playing.  I’m looking forward to competing in the coming season.

Thank you,

Dominic Kilpatrick

 

MacGregor’s Gathering

MacGregor's Gathering

By Sir Walter Scott 

Adapted to a wild gathering tune used by the MacGregors

The moon's on the lake, and the mist's on the brae,
And the Clan has a name that is nameless by day;
Then gather, gather, gather Grigalach!
Gather, gather, gather Grigalach!

Our signal for fight, that from monarchs we drew,
Must be heard but by night in our vengeful haloo!
Then haloo, Grigalach! haloo, Grigalach!
Haloo, haloo, haloo, Grigalach!

Glen Orchy's proud mountains, Coalchuirn and her towers,
Glenstrae and Glenlyon no longer are ours;
We're landless, landless, landless, Grigalach!
Landless, landless, landless, Grigalach!

But doom'd and devoted by vassal and lord,
MacGregor has still both his heart and his sword!
Then courage, courage, courage, Grigalach!
Courage, courage, courage, Grigalach!

If they rob us of name, and pursue us with beagles,
Give their roofs to the flame, and their flesh to the eagles!
Then vengeance, vengeance, vengeance, Grigalach!
Vengeance, vengeance, vengeance, Grigalach!

While there's leaves in the forest, and foam on the river,
MacGregor despite them, shall flourish for ever!
Come then Grigalach, come then Grigalach,
Come then, come then, come then Grigalach!

Through the depths of Loch Katrine the steed shall career,
O'er the peak of Ben Lomond the galley shall steer,
The rocks of Craig-Royston like icicles melt,
Ere our wrongs be forgot, or our vengeance unfelt!
Then gather, gather, gather Grigalach!
Gather, gather, gather Grigalach!

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